Monday, June 25th 2018
In our modern society we are plagued by choices and distractions. Everywhere we look, everywhere we turn, anywhere we go, we have unlimited choices and unlimited opportunities as we have access to the world using our fingertips. Using social media for example, on the main screen alone, we are open to many options accessible by our finger tips, and we can choose to do any one. We can scroll through our feed, looking at this image, or that post, or we can message a person, or we can look at our own profile, or we can post a new image or text or video, or we can alter our settings, or we can update our profile picture or description, or this, or that, or nearly anything available right in front of us.
Habitually though, we are inclined to do what we did the first time or first few times when confronted with this same home screen. If on that first day we went to check our messages, and then went back to the home screen, and then continued to scroll through, then on the second day we are likely to continue that habit again, and on the third day, and on the fifth, and so on, and so forth, until the present. That's why we do what we do given repeat situations.
When we wake up in the morning, what we do as we wake up, where we go, what we listen to on the way there, what we do when we get there, what we do when we go back home, what route we take, what we eat when we get home, what we do before sleeping, what time we sleep, and so on, are all habits ingrained to us by the first few times we did them. The first time we do something is the first time that activity has become a habit, as long as we keep doing it day after day which becomes easier as the days go on, it will at some point become so ingrained that we do it unconsciously. Habits can be great for us since we can use them to our advantage, what's terrible is that we don't.
Due to the amount of choices that we do have, sometimes it's hard to even decide what to do. I've come up with a theoretical (not yet put into practice) but practical (it should be) philosophy that makes making choices in life easier.
The main idea is to become a person that identifies as a person that only does X or as a person that does not do Y. For example "I only take cold showers" or "I don't eat meat", both identify the individual as possessing the characteristics that they only do a certain activity or they don't do this certain activity. I personally found this to be a very powerful and habit changing mindset to go through to identify as a person that either does X or as a person that does not do Y.
Every situation when you're confronted with alternatives to X, by saying "I only do X" to yourself, you start to personally oppose the activity causing you to choose an alternative over X, and you choose to say no or leave instead if X is not available. In the example using cold showers above, when you're given an opportunity to take a neutral or hot shower, by thinking "I only take cold showers" to yourself, you then go against this opportunity or go for the lesser evil (neutral shower) if having no other choice.
Of course, you have to have at least done X or been doing X for a while, or at least have some experience with it, for this to really take its full effect. If you for example, have never drawn using colored crayons, if someone comes to you offering you colored markers to draw with and you think "I only draw using colored crayons" to yourself, you may still completely decline and tell them you only draw with colored crayons, but it's still more powerful to have experience with it firsthand. Also, it helps a lot for X activity to not be difficult or painful to you since you only do X activity instead of alternatives.
Then in the situation when you say "I don't do Y", it's similar in that you should at least have some experience not doing Y for a while, as it does get easier the longer you don't do it. Using the example from above, saying "I don't eat meat" might again work right away and cause you to refrain from such activities, but it's easier again to have at least some experience first. Saying "I don't watch cartoons" when you do it daily, may cause it to not work, because you subconsciously identify as someone who watches it daily. Saying it 2-3 days after you stopped watching cartoons though, makes it so much easier to cause yourself to attain that identity.
So how can this be used in our day to day living to achieve what we want to out of life? It gets rid of distractions, and anything that may cause us to astray from exactly what we want. By focusing our life on only doing certain activities and refraining from doing other activities, it makes life that much easier to stay focused instead of confusing ourselves trying to choose from so many options. As long as we constantly make choices that aid in getting us closer to where we want to go, even if it takes us just a teeny tiny amount closer, at least that would be closer than the day before, so at least we are one day closer to getting there.
The days pass by so quickly though that often times we don't even have time to think about the day going by, let alone take advantage of it. The older we get too, the less we take advantage of time, as we take it for granted more and more. For most it seems like we accomplish and do a lot more in our youth than when we're older, but that's mainly because our perception of time was different and we were naive at everything. We took our efforts and time commitment a lot more seriously when we're young more so than when we're older and when we've experienced so much that every new experience feels repeated.
Another addition to this philosophical solution is to accept choices or identities given to us by others, by our past selves, and by our present choices.
I did everything tonight. I prepared and soaked beans for tomorrow, I washed the dishes, I brushed and flossed, I put my clothes away in the laundry, and I walked 10k steps outside. That's everything to me, that I usually procrastinate on. Often, I won't have any beans ready to eat because I didn't prepare them the night before nor the morning of that day. I also don't wash the dishes, I just leave the dishes in the sink, to which my parents scold me on. My clothes, I usually leave on the floor of the bathroom or in my room, and don't clean up until there's one massive clean up day. Brushing is something I do often but I skip as well like the last few nights I went to sleep without brushing, and flossing is a rarity that happens once every 2-3 weeks or longer. And walking outside? I've skipped that pretty often recently.
Tonight, I did everything. Those activities, I definitely do not do most of the time. It is so easy to procrastinate and skip what I'm supposed to do for that day, which is why most days go by me without me even noticing, and without me doing anything productive in them. All I have to do, is literally do these small actions, such as walking outside every day, or studying for a bit, and given enough time, I'd have lost all the weight I wanted to lose, and I would have learned much of all that I wanted to learn. That's really all life comes down to and I fail at such basic things. That's something I've realized for years now, nearly an entire decade, and I have not changed my life dramatically since I first learned that truth.
I'm frustrated at a lot of things, and by a lot I mean nearly everything about my life. Is this the hedonistic treadmill of unattainable satisfaction? I don't think so. I think there will be a point when I will eventually be satisfied. Defeating this attitude should still be easy though, all I have to do is think about and enjoy what I currently have, and the best way to do that, is to imagine what I currently have to be gone. That's what I dreamed of last night:
I woke up this morning astonished and thankful that it was all a dream. In my dream which seemed so vivid and real, I had lost everything that was valuable to me.
For some reason in this dream, I lived in front of a carnival with lots of rides and attractions. The wooden broken down house on the edge of this massive pier where people would place lawn chairs to view the fireworks is where I lived. If you sat down on the pier to view the fireworks, my broken down wooden house would be visible. Don't ask how any of this seemed logical, but it made perfect sense to me at the time that this is where I lived, and this is the life I lived.
I dreamed I had lost it all. I would often sit in with the crowds to view the fireworks and other attractions, and since the pier was basically my home, I would nonchalantly bring out my other possessions and things and just leave them on the tables or on my chair or scattered about, knowing from experience no one has taken anything of mine before.
Well I was completely wrong this one night, and everything I had left out in the open was gone by the time I got back, after leaving and doing something else. I spent the entire rest of the dream trying to get back what was taken from me, and it felt like I was getting close, I'd find helpful clues and alternative solutions and friends trying to help me. When I was awoken by my dad shouting at me to wake up, I realized I was at home, lying on the floor, and I was in my current life, and that the dream last night was not real, though every moment of it felt vivid.
I truly am just unsatisfied with my lot in life. I believe that I will be satisfied at some point once I have enough. I know this feeling of desire and want is all under my control. I do want more. I don't want to live my life with less. I feel like I have had every right and chance to have made it at this point, and it was due to my careless mistakes and actions that I did not make it.
I have to work ten times as hard to make up for all the time and effort I have lost. I had every door open for me, and I could have made it. I could have made it. I don't want to live the rest of my life as a failure, so if I have to start forcing myself to make better and take better actions, then so be it. I will take those better actions, I will not waste my time.
I appreciate what I have for it can all be gone tomorrow. I could be gone tomorrow. I am so sleepy right now though, that I can barely think and function. I just want to lie down, close my eyes, and go to sleep. I'd honestly want nothing more. Sleepy is priceless and it's free.
Can I just be thankful for what I have, instead of wanting so much more? What do I even want out of life? Just a few things. I'm hoping my daily actions leads me towards them. I'm going to have to study a little bit tonight, I have no choice but to. I might also drop out of a class, because I am taken two courses right now, and that might be too much for me at the moment. I know I should maximize taking courses so that I can finish and get my degree faster, but I'm currently strapped in my ability to pay attention...
So, I'm heavily considering dropping one of these.
I cried several times tonight. I thought about the past and the future. I imagined where I would be several years from now, and I imagined that my friends from the past have made it. Just one in particular actually. I imagined them being successful, having tons of followers on Twitter or other social media, and I just found out about them having all this success. Of course they have massive amounts of followers and subscribers, and I'd probably drown out in the noise. I'd cry that I had just been forgotten, and yet again, I made another mistake of missing out on what could have been.
So it really is all up to my day to day actions. With that in mind, I go to sleep.
Catch up on Journal Entries
Upload 9 Reserve IG Photos Study College Courses
Full list in the Extended Backlog page
--Required Daily Tasks--
Did I take over 10,000 steps today? Yes
Did I write at least 2000 words in my journal today? Yes
Did I program for at least an hour? Yes
Did I work on or complete any backlog tasks? Yes
--Questions About Today--
Was today a productive day? Yes
What did I do well on? I did a good amount of complicated to me, kind of work. It was again mostly just bug fixing, actually it pretty much entirely was bug fixing, but I went through a lot of code, and was trying to understand the system more, and overall it was a good learning experience.
What did I do badly on? When I got home, after eating, I sat around watching a comedy show on Netflix for over an hour, because I watched while I ate, and I wanted to continue watching after. I also did not wake up that great that morning, and I guess I could have studied more at night as well.
Did you take a selfie for the day? Yes
Did you upload the previous day's journal entry? No
Did I eat just around 2000 calories today? Yes
Rate how satisfied you were with today: 3/10
Why this rating? Although the day was good and very productive actually, more productive than most days, I wasn't satisfied. I knew I could have done more (or maybe not?) I think I could have squeezed in a little bit more effort here and there. Overall despite it being a productive day, I wasn't very satisfied with it.
12:00 AM – Writing Journal – 12:40 AM
12:40 AM – Reading about Stoicism – 1:00 AM
1:00 AM – Sleeping – 7:20 AM
7:20 AM – Preparing for Work – 8:00 AM
8:00 AM – Driving – 8:50 AM
8:50 AM – Working – 5:05 PM
5:05 PM – Driving – 5:45 PM
5:45 PM – Eating – 7:00 PM
7:00 PM – Wasting Time – 8:30 PM
8:30 PM – Walking Outside – 10:10 PM
10:10 PM – Chores – 10:32 PM
10:32 PM – Writing Journal – 11:14 PM
11:14 PM – Studying – 11:30 PM
11:30 PM – Crying – 11:59 PM
11:50 – Trying to Sleep – 11:59 AM
Productive Hours (12:15)
Writing Journal (1:22)
Reading about Stoicism (0:20)
Walking Outside (1:40)
Neutral Hours (10:14)
Preparing for Work (0:40)
Trying to Sleep (0:09)
Unproductive Hours (1:30)
Wasting Time (1:30)
Web Development: 381
General Programming: 8
Game Development: 4